Egypt remains on the red list for travel from the UK while the pandemic still rages across the globe. This means we Brits can travel there in an emergency only. So I have been consoling myself with my photo albums, revisiting past trips. Many of the awe-inspiring archaeological sites and ancient monuments on both banks of the Nile have provided locations for key scenes in my travel series following Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt. There are now ten books in the series. They are modern mystery-adventure stories, all with an ancient Egyptian mystery at their heart. So if you, like me, are missing the opportunity to travel freely, you might like to join me on this spin through some of my favorite places in the mystical land the pharaohs.
I have now reached the last in this series of travelogues as I am now on book 10 in the series. Published in early June this year, 2021, Ramses’ Revenge is Merry’s most recent adventure.
The majority of the action takes place at the impressive temple of Medinet Habu on the West Bank near Luxor. This was the mortuary temple, or “Mansion of Millions of Years” of Pharaoh Ramses III. It has long been known that Ramses III was the victim of a Harem Conspiracy, led by one of his wives, to replace him on the throne with her son. But it was long believed that the pharaoh survived the attempt on his life – although dying soon afterwards. Then, in 2012, the CT scan on his preserved mummy revealed a deeply slit throat, a wound so vicious it must certainly have killed him instantly. My story seeks to unravel the circumstances surrounding this violent chapter in Egypt’s royal past. It provides the identities and motivations of some of the key protagonists in the ancient murder-mystery.
Medinet Habu is the best preserved of the truly ancient temples. It dates from the early 20th Dynasty of the New Kingdom, some 1,100 years BCE. Its fantastic state of preservation is largely thanks to its use as the headquarters of the West Bank necropolis in ancient times, meaning it wasn’t dismantled so its stones could be re-used in other building projects, which was the fate of many of the memorial temples dating from this period. Much of the original color can still be seen, audit’s possible to get a sense of what the temple would have looked like when brightly painted and intact. There are some fantastic wall carvings, many showing Ramses III’s successful war campaigns against the ‘Sea Peoples’.
Here are some typical scenes of the local people going about their business; scenes Merry sees every day as she has made a home in Egypt.
One of the key scenes in the book takes placate Karnak, where the action unfolds in the Barque Temple of Ramses III and the Temple of Khonsu, which was commissioned by Ramses III.
As ever, it wouldn’t be a Meredith Pink book without a visit to one of Luxor’s iconic hotels. This time, the charming Al Moudira Hotel, tucked away discreetly on the West Bank in the foothills of the Theban Mountains.
There is also a visit to the Valley of The Queens, where it’s possible to see tombs of sons of Ramses III who died before their father. The wall reliefs show the pharaoh introducing his dead son(s) to the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient Egyptian Pantheon.
And so, my series (so far) and my photographic tour through favorite memories and locations for key scenes in my books has come to an end. I plan soon to start writing book 11, with more planned for the future.
I hope you have enjoyed looking at my pictures, and that you might consider joining Merry & Co on their adventures in Egypt. If so, I suggest you start with the first in the series, Carter’s Conundrums.
Fiona Deal, Author of Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt, fiction books all available on Amazon. To join Merry on her adventures please click on each picture for the link.